Tag Archives: Kevin O’Neill

Getting to know USC: They’re nice

Let’s get serious. If we’re going to discuss USC basketball we’re going to talk about Andy Enfield’s wife comments about UCLA, “Wanna play slow? Go to UCLA.” Boooom! And then he swiftly glowed about his respect for “Steve” and the UCLA program. I don’t doubt his sincerity, but I also don’t fully believe the fact that he wants that spice behind closed doors. In a recent meeting a co-worker told me that if you’re going to write a marketing email that everyone is going to like you’re going to be boring. No one likes boring. No one plays for boring. So Dunk City needed to make a splash. Dunk City has to come into Los Angeles – which is UCLA’ s town – and make itself loved. To be loved, someone’s gotta hate you. Because you’re either loved, hated, or forgotten. Andy Enfield aims to not soon be forgotten.


Why I love them: This team has almost nothing going for it from the standpoint of a talented roster. This is a predicament that – in the realm of sports – not conducive to left column. USC is not going to win many ball games. But they’re winning the press conference. They’ve won a recruiting battle. And Mrs. Enfield. Pe’Shon Howard is a nice transfer and Omar Oraby is gigantic. Byron Wesley returns after a sound sophomore campaign and JT Terrell is going to shoot more often than Lane Kiffin changes jobs. Darion Clark won a title at Oak Hill Academy and arrives in LA by way of transfer from Charlotte. DJ Haley brings all seven feet of himself to the Galen Center from VCU… along with his 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game. So many nice parts, right?

Why I hate them: Ever asked someone how their date went and they say, “Good time. He was nice.” Yeah, game over. Nothing good is ever nice and everything inside the Galen Center just feels nice. JT Terrell is stoked to be let loose as an athlete (“Been a lot of people getting dunked on in practice”) as I imagine everyone else is. But when two of your greatest assets – at least on paper – are seven-plus footers (Oraby and Haley), well then your run-n-gun, up-tempo offense wouldn’t seem to have the right pieces. I’m excited about USC’s direction, but it’s just really nice right now.

Stat you need to know:


Andy Enfield’s time on stage at Pac-12 Media Day. Worth noting, Steve Alford’s time on stage was 14:54:45. Who’s faster?


“We play up-tempo basketball here. If you want to play slow, go to UCLA.” – Andy Enfield’s quote that ain’t going anywhere.

Outlook: I suppose it’s a loaded question because, amongst all of the teams we’ve previewed, in the long term USC has the greatest ceiling. Or at least they’ve got the best opportunity to become a regular dancer. They’re sure as shit not there yet. Katin Reinhardt is riding the pine and won’t take the court until Jordan McLaughlin arrives on campus. 2013-14 won’t be easy to swallow in the Galen Center but neither was Bozo Ball. Did you know that one of KO’s USC teams had the 335th best offense in the nation (87.9 ORtg)? In a word: awful.  On to the Enfield-era where offenses move like grandmas with cheetahs taped to their backs and dunks flow like 405 traffic after a SigAlert clears. You wanna play slow? Go to…

How to Survive Your Coaching Hunt

The coaching rumors have begun. From grumblings of Josh Pastner and Jamie Dixon, to Shaka Smart and Brad Stevens, this is the most browser refreshing time of year.

I for one, am not jealous of those programs in the hunt. As a fan, this is the most exhausting thing and something I’ve endured far too heavily in the past decade. After all, it was my Arizona Wildcats that allowed Nic Wise to become the first and only power conference player to have four different coaches (Olson, O’Neill, Pennell, Miller) in four years. Who wants that distinction?

And then of course there was the Miller-to-Maryland threat which was one of the worst 48-hour periods of my life. There’s something to be said about stability and comfort and as it stands today – with regards to the current hunts – Dixon and Pastner have let their signatures do the talking. Each has signed extensions with their current employers ensuring they won’t go anywhere. Or something like that.

But again, take it from me, these things are awful. They’re draining and exhausting and exhilarating and terrifying. They’re a time suck and will drive you insane all to wind up with a guy who you’ll barely see in action for another half-year (#IsItNovermberYet).

Alas, here is a guide to surviving your coaching hunt:

  1. Don’t Hate – Unless the outgoing guy is leaving your program in NCAA shambles, he’s really not as bad as you think. Look at the situation holistically and if you still think he deserves your hate, then so be it. But really assert your energies on the excitement of the next guy.
  2. A “No” doesn’t mean your program totally sucks – There’s probably a long(ish) list of names your AD is going to go through and that list starts with some dream names. He’s going to get rejected. Your school is going to get rejected. You don’t suck that bad.
  3. Do not host out of town friends with no connection to college basketball – They’ll soon realize that you being on your phone has nothing to do with the forthcoming “exciting things” you have planned and that you’re just incessantly reading rumors on Twitter. Never set yourself up to be an asshole (which is more of a life rule).
  4. Be Patient –  It took Oregon a brief lifetime to find Dana Altman. These things take time. Know that your AD – or at least hope that your AD – has been on the Bat Phone for a few months now talking to intermediaries and handlers or World Wide Wes or whatever and whoever the hell else is involved in back room deals where public comments sound a lot like a Johnnie Cochran case: DENY DENY DENY!
  5. Do not sneak into a local resort and get drunk in the jacuzzi – Such a situation lends itself to extreme bouts of nostalgia and Glory-Days-syndrome. Your expectations will be unfairly heightened.
  6. Do not contact former head coaches of your school whose actions warranted NCAA sanctions and then the hiring of the firable Kevin O’Neill – Duh.
  7. Group text – Include only your core and most trusted fellow fans. You do not have to share this conversation with everyone. There’s free reign for discussion here and it’s a safe place. The trust tree…in the nest.
  8. Good Scotch – Just a solid thing to have around.
  9. 80-20 Rule – Believe 20% of what you hear is bullshit. Know that 80% of what you hear is bullshit.
  10. Do not start a plane tracking thread – This is just borderline insane. Your time will be better suited by starting a rumor about a coach’s wife dealing with a local real estate agent. Even that’s weird. In fact, just don’t be a rumor starter. Laugh at those ridiculous rumors publicly and refer back to Rule #7 for discussion.
  11. Your program might not be as tight as you think – Otherwise you wouldn’t be hunting for a coach.
  12. Believe – Give unbridled support to the coach you hire. He’s excited about the opportunity and we can all, for at least one brief press conference, believe that coach’s aren’t hired to be fired and that this guy just might outdo Wooden.
  13. The Basketball season will start at the same time next year – And your team is likely to not be very good.
  14. If your school is a public institution, apply – By law, any state school has to open all state funded positions to the general public (or some other legal jargon way of saying it). Find the job posting on your school’s website and apply. What’s the worst that could happen?
  15. Mike Krzyzewski at Army – 9-17 when he was hired away from that institution. The rest is a pain in everyone’s ass.
  16. Do not trust the following:
  • Message board contributors who’s screen name resembles something like [insert team name]Fan4Lyfe[insert year of school’s best season]
  • Tweets from person’s with fewer than 1k followers
  • Coaches:

Waxing Seniority: Jio Fontan

With the regular season now wrapped and the Pac-12’s seniors having played their final home games, we’re taking a tour across the conference and bidding this group of seniors farewell.

Jacob Freedman is a writer for the Daily Trojan, Galen Central, Neon Tommy, and other USC publications.

There won’t be a Hollywood ending for Jio Fontan. His college career will not wrap up with a celebration on the court. He won’t be hearing his name called by David Stern at the NBA Draft this June.

Instead, his final game at the Galen Center has served as a metaphor for Fontan’s three years as the Trojans point guard on the floor, and emotional leader off of it.

Senior Day couldn’t have started better for the Trojans that Saturday. The Trojans raced out to a 28-9 lead last Saturday against the Arizona State Sun Devils, with Fontan leading USC’s fast-paced, dunk-fueled offense. It was an exciting start, just as Fontan’s tenure at USC was after he led Trojans to the NCAA Tournament in his debut season at USC despite missing the first ten games due to transfer rules.

The Trojans lost in the opening round of the tourney to VCU (which ended up making a run to the Final Four), but Fontan had rekindled his love for basketball in the southern California sun. The ugly drama was finally gone. His nightmare at Fordham, which refused to release Fontan from the program after he averaged 15.3 points and 4.7 assists as a freshman and where he played five games in 2009-10 as a sophomore, was finally over.

From a narrow loss at third-ranked Kansas in his USC debut to a late February win over a Top Ten Arizona squad that propelled the Trojans to an at-large bid, that 2010-11 season was the unconventional honeymoon for Fontan and his new group.

Flash back to Senior Day. Arizona State fought back, but USC still led 41-28 with around 13 minutes to go. Fontan had been guarding ASU’s best player in Jahii Carson, and had already racked up four fouls against the aggressive freshman point guard. Fontan had also sat out nearly eight minutes in the first half with two fouls, and was struggling offensively with seven points and just two assists. But like it had been all season; there was no other option at point guard. Fontan led the team with 33 minutes per game. Down the stretch, it was going to be Jio or bust.

“He’s very competitive at practice and in the games,” USC interim head coach Bob Cantu said. “Guys feed off that and see he really wants to win. Not just winning the game, but winning each possession and each increment on the game.”

Coming out of a dead-ball substitution, Fontan looked to shoot before dishing the ball to Omar Oraby. Oraby’s jumper went awry, but that’s not wat mattered. As the shot clanked off iron, the predominant sound in the Galen Center was a sharp thud as Fontan fell backwards onto the court following his pass. Not good. Not good at all

Fontan got up hobbling, clutching his right wrist tightly and seething to avoid crying out in pain. He got the ball on USC’s next possession, but bent over in agony before Cantu called a timeout and subbed in freshman Chass Bryan for Fontan. No question about it, Fontan was hurt. Again.

Flash back to spring 2011. The Trojans lost three program contributors- Marcus Simmons, Donte Smith and Alex Stepheson- to graduation and lost arguably their best player, Nikola Vucevic, to the pros after the Serbian star declared for the NBA Draft on March 25. Backup guard Bryce Jones had also left the program in January.

With all of that, a repeat run to the tourney was less than a sure thing. But at least then-USC head coach Kevin O’Neill had his trusted point guard at his side. Both coach and point guard believed they could carry this team back to the Big Dance. And then, Brazil.

Fontan had 57 points in two games during USC’s August trip to the South American nation, where the Trojans played against mid-level Brazilian pro squads. But in the third, Fontan was hit on a drive and landed awkwardly. It turned out to be a torn ACL that required surgery. His season was done before it even began. As was USC’s, which Fontan would have to watch unfold from the bench.

Thus began the 2011-12 season as we remember it. Most choose to forget. Fontan’s injury wasn’t the first (Power forward Curtis Washington was declared out of the year the week before Brazil with a shoulder injury), nor would it be the last. Down went center Dewayne Dedmon, down went forward Aaron Fuller, and down went the Trojans’ record. USC finished the season with six wins and 26 losses, the most losses in program history.

The losing was hard enough for Fontan. Worse was having to watch his teammates lose their passion and suffer through loss after loss.

“Just keep fighting,” Fontan said on what he told his teammates. “When you’re going from town to town, state to state, taking losses and some pretty bad ones, you could kind of get lost in what’s the game’s about.” A calm and calculated speaker, Fontan switches the tone from sullen to positive without missing a beat. “It’s about having fun and going out there and trying to make your mark every time you step on the court and compete as much as possible. You don’t want that losing mentality to become the norm for you.”

The season to forget ended with a 17-point loss to UCLA in the first round of the conference tournament. For most of the team, that meant the offseason. For Fontan, it meant the preseason had begun.

“He stayed motivated and saw the big picture, and that’s not easy to do,” Cantu said. “I give him a lot of credit.”

Now 31 games into his final season, Fontan still doesn’t discount the impact of that agonizing tear nearly 19 months ago.

“I have my days where I’m more sore than others, but for the most part I’m good. There’s days where I can feel great and can explode like I’ve always been able to, I just have to learn to adjust and come in strong.”

Now check back in to last Saturday. After subbing out, Fontan has made a quick detour to the locker room before returning with a bag of ice for his right wrist. It turns out he sprained it, but he doesn’t know that yet. Not that it would matter if he did. Four minutes and 33 seconds of game time after hobbling off, Fontan has his right hand wrapped and ready to go.  The Trojans are 6-5 under Cantu at this juncture, and Fontan isn’t letting a sixth loss slide by.

“It’s been tougher for me personally, just dealing with having a year off basketball having to not only be a leader, but getting things flowing for my team to win,” Fontan said before the game. “Luckily I’ve been able to do so during this later stretch.”

Fontan’s senior year has already been rocky. After starting 7-10, USC fired O’Neill, and impacting Fontan on more than one level.

With Fontan living almost 3,000 miles away from his family in New Jersey, O’Neill became Jio’s west-coast father figure. Fontan was just 20 when he arrived to USC. Now he is 23, and thanks to O’Neill’s tutelage, miles more mature and now able to tackle the challenges of life after college basketball.

“He told me to be a professional and have fun on and off the court,” Fontan said about O’Neill’s parting advice to him. Fontan’s one constant of his USC career was gone, and Cantu became Fontan’s fourth coach of his college career.

And just like his roller-coaster senior year, this game would not have the picturesque finish Fontan might have wished for.

Although he left because of injury, Fontan had exited the game with four fouls. Less than two minutes after coming back in, he earned his fifth after elbowing Carson while dribbling the ball up the court. Fontan was protecting his injured wrist, but a swing was a swing. The referees called it a flagrant foul, and Fontan’s day was finished.

Fontan defended himself in the post-game press conference, but his ultimate conclusion was that the referees “made the right call”. The hothead freshman Jio might have rued the call, but this tenured senior knows when to pick his battles.

Like the end of the game once he fouled out, Fontan can’t control how this season will turn out. If J.T. Terrell isn’t finding his shot, if Eric Wise isn’t making paths in the paint and if Dedmon and Omar Oraby aren’t stopping opponents in the post, then there is only so much Fontan can do. For the fierce leader to win, he must rely on the skills of others.

As Fontan gazed from the sidelines, the Trojans withstood a last-second heave by Arizona State to win 57-56. Fontan finished with seven points, two rebounds, and an assist. In his 32nd and final game at the Galen Center, Fontan’s 22 minutes were his fewest total ever on the Trojans’ home court.  In a career deterred by injuries, that final stat seems to make harmonic sense.

No matter. The Trojans won. The metaphor ends here. Now, it’s time for Fontan to wrap up his story at USC. He’s already planning the next chapter of his life.

Fontan has Puerto Rican roots, and was drafted 8th overall by Atléticos de San Germán in January’s Puerto Rican Basketball League Draft. He is on track to graduate, and says he’s likely to explore playing in Puerto Rico once USC’s season is over.

Which is not quite yet. The Trojans enter the Pac-12 tournament as the seven-seed and will face tenth-seeded Utah Wednesday night.

Fontan is still dealing with pain from his wrist, but there’s no chance he won’t be on the court for the rest of USC’s games. His time in Tinseltown is over, but perhaps what happens in Vegas will result in an extra page or two to Fontan’s USC chapter.


Not So Pac-12 Awards: Greatest Spectacle

The season itself is a spectacle, full of unforeseen incidents, shocking results, and jaw droppers. Story lines unfold before us quicker than grandma with a cheetah on her back and can flush away what we knew yesterday like a flash flood.

Sometimes its like a car wreck where we can’t help but watch. Other times it’s a heartwarming tale, something that moves us to re-admit that we cry during Rudy. It can be controversy, rivalry, history, or a single moment that changes the course of a season.

The great spectacles of 2012-13:

The UCLA Situation


From the outset of this season, Ben Howland and company were going to be watched with a keen and expectant eye. Collectively we knew his program was reeling. But he had garnered the second best recruiting class in the nation including the best high schooler in the country, Shabazz Muhammad. So when they were taken to overtime by UC-Irvine and then lost to Cal Poly, far greater than grumblings bubbled about Howland’s job. In fact, there were reports that he’d be dismissed mid-season. So yeah, when the most successful program in the sports history is talking about firing their HC, it’s a spectacle. And a pecuiliar one when that coach regroups to win the outright conference title. Which begs the question: Now what? We’ll see as this story will continue to be one of the bigger tales across the nation.

To the Monitors


Pac-12 opening night. The undefeated Arizona Wildcats. The upstart Colorado Buffaloes. Arizona would win in overtime which is about the start of this story. A tale that’s still being cited as these two are poised to perhaps meet again in the Pac-12 Quarters. Alas, following Chen’s banked three, the monitors were visited and the decision made that the senior Buffalo didn’t get his game-winner off. And, like I said previously, the Wildcats won in overtime.

One Game, Two Rankings

Arsalan Kazemi, Larry Drew II

On Saturday, January 19, 2013, the #24 UCLA Bruins Hosted the #21 Oregon Ducks in Pauley Pavilion. Oregon would win the game but that’s not the news. What’s news is that this was the first contest featuring ranked Pac-12 opponents since March 2009. That’s a damn long time. And we still haven’t had another since that mid-January showdown. But Arizona and UCLA could collide in a colossal Pac-12 semi-final featuring #21 v #18. Whoa.

KO, KO’d. You, Cantu


Despite a 2-2 conference mark and a drubbing of Utah, the sun rose on Monday and Kevin O’Neill was relieved of his duties as USC’s head coach. Long time assistant, Bob Cantu, was appointed the interim man and did an admirable job. Leading the Trojans to a seventh place finish. But the real conversation centers around what they’ll do following the season. The gig has been linked to some big names and some familiar names. Whatever the case, I think Pat Haden has the opportunity to make a big splash.




Not So Pac-12 Awards: Greatest Spectacle

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

USC Playing & Losing a Tough Schedule

The band of castoffs was to be playing with a chip on their shoulder. From transfers to the healed, Kevin O’Neill’s squad came into this season as the great unknown. As such, they became the hipster pick – cool because is wasn’t cool – to make some noise in the conference. I picked them to finish as high as fourth!

Well the season’s now begun and the Trojans already have as many losses as their football team (too soon?). They sit at 3-5 and haven’t looked quite like a top team in the Pac. Jio’s still finding his sea legs, JT Terrell is shooting and not making, Aaron Fuller’s role is diminished, and defensively the team isn’t quite there yet. But the primary concern is their record.

These guys have played a hellacious schedule begging the question: Why?

I get it. That’s why we play. I love competition and why compete if you’re just lining them up to knock them down? What does Usain Bolt learn about himself by racing grandma even with a cheetah taped to her back? We challenge ourselves to learn and grow. To that effect I applaud the Trojans’ effort.

But at what point does it become masochism? Why play the country’s toughest schedule to bury your season before it begins? SOS is only a factor of RPI and RPI is only a factor of the selection committee’s. The group that ultimately holds the fate of 37 teams.

Because that’s what college hoops becomes: A beauty pageant to ensure you’re invited to The Dance. Playing and winning a tough schedule is like nailing the talent portion of the pageant. Playing and getting annihilated through a tough schedule? This:

Unfortunately, KO’s group is heading down the path of the latter.

But the course will toughen them and come Pac-12 time, there will be little that surprises this team. I’m just curious if they won’t already be broken.

Multiple Reasons for Optimism in the Galen Center

USC has a lot to look forward to this year and it has become somewhat of a national dialogue as they return a whole new look from last year’s injury debacle.

  1. Demon Deacons – The Trojans welcome two former Wake Foresters in JT Terrell and Ari Stewart. Terrell has the bigger upside with regards to immediate impact as he’ll be asked to light it up from distance; something he certainly can do.
  2. The Keck School – In case you’re unfamiliar, that’s USC’s medical school. A place that’s now nursed Jio Fontan, Dewayne Dedmon, and Aaron Fuller back to health. That’s a lot of injured talent the Trojans were missing last year and now regain.
  3. Sweat – KO has repeatedly called this the hardest working group he’s ever coached which is saying something considering the demanding nature of KO-ball. And, as we’ve learned from an early age, hard work usually translates into success!
  4. Shoulders – I’m not talking about Aaron Fuller’s now healthy ones. I’m talking about the chip on the collective Trojan shoulder. KO has referenced it and one has to believe that any group cast off as many times as this patchwork lineup has been, would likely have an axe to grind. Or a chip on their shoulder, pick your cliché.
  5. Two – That’s the number of conference games they’ll need to win to improve on last season’s total. Hey! Baby steps.
  6. Quack – Another shot at the Ducks! Too soon?
  7. Lottery – KO once called Dewayne Dedmon a future pick by a team on a Ping-Pong ball. His 2011-12 campaign was shortened by knee injury as the seven-footer continues to learn the game. If in his time off he’s pieced together a little more basketball acumen, look out, the Trojans just might live up to their rebuilt hype.

BB: Alex “Tree” Jacobson and The Program

There will be a few more games to play and who knows whether or not they’ll be on CBS or Tru TV or ESPN.

That’s to say, the Wildcats could be dancing or whatever you call an NIT appearance. However you frame it, there’s still a brief amount of season remaining, the slightest bit of Alex Jacobson’s Arizona career to unfold.

The big boy out of Mater Dei, aptly referred to as “Tree,” hasn’t played much at Arizona. He’s battled back injuries and some talent hurdles but by all accounts he’s been nothing short of a great kid, a diligent worker, and dedicated to the program.

He’ll get his degree, five seasons of college basketball, a trip to the elite eight and sweet sixteen, and probably some free drinks somewhere along the way. So what of this seven-footer who once shot 83% from the field and 57% from the line in a season? Who scored fifty career points, grabbed sixty career rebounds, and dished six career assists?

Jacobson is the last recruit of Lute Olson’s to wear an Arizona jersey.

Before the medical leave or KO or Pennell or Sean, Jacobson enrolled at the University of Arizona; a promising center joining the 2007 class of Jerryd Bayless, Jamelle Horne, Laval Lucas-Perry, and Zane Johnson. It was the eighth rated class in the nation that year. Tree was joining a preseason top-20 team with sights on big things.

Then the aforementioned (upon aforementioned, upon aforementioned) happened. And there’s absolutely no need to relive that past; it’s been addressed ad nausea how many times it’s been addressed ad nausea.

It happened and here we are, watching the last of the great Lute Olson’s recruits complete his time in the program.

A program Olson built from a four-win team in 1983 to a 25-consecutive NCAA tournament bound team; to a thirteen sweet sixteen appearance team; to a twelve-time conference champion team; to an eight time Elite Eight appearance team; to a four-time Final Four attendee team; to the 1997 National Championship team.

Olson built a program.

And so when Alex “Tree” Jacobson removes the cardinal and navy for the last time; when a new number 50 is hitting the weights and the track and the Richard Jefferson Gym; whenever that happens, a part of Arizona Basketball history will become complete.

Maybe it’s an era, tenure or the legend of it all. Whatever you want to call it, a piece of Wildcat-lore will become complete, a fond memory building upon countless others, meant to be recounted over-and-over-and-over again as part of a glorious past that’s delivered us to this point today.

No matter where Jacobson suits up for the final time as a Wildcat, remember why he ever suited up in the first place. And how you ever became an Arizona fan.

Olson’s last recruit may be finishing, but Olson’s built something far bigger than a 2007 recruiting class.

He built Arizona.

This post can also be found at pointguardu.com.

Semifinals of the Pac-12 Coaches Death Match

Voting has closed for the semifinals. Read about the fights here.

It’s the Final Four.

Kind of like that one they play in a football stadium except this time Brad Stevens wouldn’t have even had a chance because he emanates baby giraffe.

Vote-n-share from 3/5-7.

#1 Kevin O'Neill vs. #5 Sean Miller

  • #5 Sean "Whooping" Miller (59%, 44 Votes)
  • #1 Kevin "Bruisin' Boozin' Bozo" O'Neill (41%, 31 Votes)

Total Voters: 75

Loading ... Loading ...

Ohmygodohmygodohmygod. You realize this fight is sort of a real one? KO hates Arizona. It’s the school that said, “Hey man! Wanna be our next coach? NOT!” And then there’s the whole thing where USC’s old coach paid players so then he had to quit and yield his entire recruiting class to Sean Miller who then took that group to an Elite Eight. But getting out Basketball History class, I think it’s safe to assume at this point that these two are the craziest tandem this tournament has seen. From ball catching requests to that Bozo haircut, no one wants to mess with either of these cats. Except they both want a shot at each other.

#6 Craig Robinson vs. #7 Tad Boyle

  • #7 Tad "Colorado Cranium" Boyle (81%, 65 Votes)
  • #6 Craig "Capacious Corvallian" Robinson (19%, 15 Votes)

Total Voters: 80

Loading ... Loading ...

I know Tad has reportedly killed a bear but the Secret Service is capable of some crazy stuff – like push Craig Robinson into the Pac-12 Coaches Death Match semifinals. In this unsuspecting but no less dramatic of semifinals, the combined hat size of these two men is roughly equal to the length of a Blue Whale. For relatability purposes of pure size alone, this match will be officiated by Sloth from The Goonies. Will the Capacious Corvallian Barack the world and find his way into the championship bout? Or will the Colordao Cranium meat paw the hell out of the Princeton grad?


Round 2 Takedown Shakedown: The Results & onto the Semis

Round 2 is in the books. It was ferocious and it appears that some of our contestants are growing stronger like this season of The Wire (that’s a complete fabrication as I have not yet dabbled in the show; yet making Wire references in sports columns is en vogue so please understand that was my attempt at a contemporary simile). Frightening.

Bozo stumbled out of the gate which, to the untrained eye, appeared to be a rope-a-dope but in reality it was just a vicious hangover. Per the typical KO aesthetic, this was a grind it out defensive bore that he won on underwhelming things like technical jabs, timely stoppages, and crazy hair. And, if you’ll recall our match preview, we likened this bout to Voldemort v. Potter and how Harry was channeling all that love from his family to overcome the pure evil of He Who Must Not Be Named. Remember? Well LoRo couldn’t channel enough Seattle basketball love what with KD5 and Westbrook scoring a combined 57 in the All-Star game and Durantula taking MVP honors home. Salt, meet wound.

The round’s second fight featured Whooping and K. Know that Sean Miller does his homework. He knew what he was up against and knew it would take great effort to upset the fourth seeded, 6’9″ beast of Montana Grizzlies-lore. In this tilt, Miller was undersized and understrengthed. He was essentially destined to lose. But he didn’t. Despite all of K’s confidence, preparedness, and viciousness, he forgot one very important fact and Whooping leaves no stone unturned. Whooping discovered, following extensive research, a home visit, and lots of bribery, that K once, on his seventh grade B team, dropped a pass from a teammate the resulted in a turnover. Sean doesn’t like dropped passes. Subsequently Sean rolled K, 254-76 (most votes single round votes, all-time).

Our third bout kinda breaks my heart because maybe he can’t help it? Maybe Johnny Dawkins wants to smile but he just can’t? Alas, the beating Tad put on Johnny (229-53) would be enough to make anyone never smile again and I imagine the Cruel Cardinal is now legitimately incapable of such. The meat paws of the Colorado Cranium were once again overwhelming to a Bay Area head coach as Big Boyle advances. Plus you must keep in mind that this is a “no holds barred, rule-less, lawless” tournament so it should come as no surprise that this is happening. Eff ’em up, eff ’em up, GO CU!

The closing match of Round 2 featured a peripheral, side-battle of sidekicks. The Capacious Corvallian, with a suspiciously large entourage of stoic square jaws with impressive GPAs from renowned universities, found a way to do what the Headless Horsemen could not: defeat Ichabod. It wasn’t easy – or pretty – but big Craig came out the winner. I don’t want to know what or how the secret service handled Miyagi but he was rendered a non-factor in this match. It’s one of those DADT situations we don’t need to meddle in. Congratulations on the win, Craig.

Next up? The semifinals open 3/5.

Round 2 of the Pac-12 Coaches Death Match

Round 2 voting has closed. Read about the fights here.

Michael Buffer already said it. Rumbling is upon us and that means Round 2 is here. Last time in the cage, the top seeds advanced, handling their opponents with varied levels of ease or otherwise.

But now we found ourselves at Round 2. The top seeds enter. WHO. WILL. SURVIVE?

(Voting closes 3/2)

#8 Lorenzo Romar vs. #1 Kevin O'Neill

  • #1 Kevin "Bruisin' Boozin' Bozo" O'Neill (51%, 138 Votes)
  • #8 Lorenzo "HecEd Hammer" Romar (49%, 130 Votes)

Total Voters: 268

Loading ... Loading ...

The HecEd Hammer rolled in his first round victory but now faces the Bruisin’ Boozin’ Bozo. The man who hasn’t given a rat’s back end since, well, never. Problem for KO is that LoRo does nothing but care. It’s kind of like when Voldemort swiftly kills Harry in HP7b and he finds himself dead in that white-on-white-on-white train station talking to Gandalf with that weird fetus thing under the bench but manages to come back to life because he’s so damn loved. LoRo is Harry. KO is Voldemort. Could these two re-write the Greatest Story Ever Told?

#5 Sean Miller vs. #4 K

  • #5 Sean "Whooping" Miller (76%, 254 Votes)
  • #4 K (24%, 79 Votes)

Total Voters: 333

Loading ... Loading ...

Our second matchup involves Whooping and K. The first year guy at Utah has been called intense and why not? He’s an unsettling 6’9″, sports that goater and made the league out of the University of Montana. HAM no doubt. But he will be fighting Whooping:

Please catch the ball when it is passed to you, Angelo.


#7 Tad Boyle vs. #2 Johnny Dawkins

  • #7 Tad "Colorado Cranium" Boyle (81%, 229 Votes)
  • #2 Johnny "Cruel Cardinal" Dawkins (19%, 53 Votes)

Total Voters: 282

Loading ... Loading ...

The huge dome served Tad well in Round 1 but now he faces the smileless-wonder, the stone grilled assassin, the Cruel Cardinal, Johnny D. Considering his Cardinal just lost to the worst team (Utah) to ever join a major conference until USC’s 2011-12 season, I’m guessing the Cruel Cardinal is vying for blood. But Boyle isn’t about to roll over and surrender to the frown. He’s the coach that killed a bear after all and has hands the could choke a blue whale. We’re in for blows.

#6 Craig Robinson vs. #3 Ken Bone

  • #6 Craig "Capacious Corvallian" Robinson (56%, 114 Votes)
  • #3 Ken "Ichabod" Bone (44%, 89 Votes)

Total Voters: 203

Loading ... Loading ...

He’s been described as unassuming, simple, and soft. He’s also defeated a haunted horseman who rides around carrying his own goddamn head. Are you kidding me? I ain’t messing with that guy and he so clearly DGAF that this happened. The Capacious Corvallian, with the help of lil’ sister and her husband’s bevy of ear pieced aid, may (or may not) have their hands full with the crazy eyed gangle-body from Pullman.